MANILA – The Philippines on Saturday received 100 oxygen concentrators from the Australian government as part of the latter's Covid-19 pandemic support.
Australian Ambassador Steven Robinson said the aid was upon the request of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. during his meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne on Aug. 23.
"As part of our ongoing support to the Philippines, we've been able to provide these in a very short time and I'm so pleased to turn over these for disbursement around the country to areas of most need, the people who need to concentrated oxygen into their lungs because of the virus," he told reporters in an interview at the PairCargo Warehouse in Pasay City
Robinson said Australia is committed to donating more of the equipment that filters oxygen molecules from the ambient air to provide patients with 90 to 95 percent pure oxygen.
"Because of the increase in the number of cases particularly in India and Indonesia, oxygen concentrators are incredibly short in supply," he noted.
"We took these from Australia's very small stockpile. There's not much left in Australia so we're seeking to get more and I'm hopeful in the coming months we'll be able to provide more to the Philippines," he added.
The Department of Health said the concentrators will be dispatched soon to government hospitals in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Western and Central Visayas.
“We are very grateful to the government of Australia for extending help to our country. The arrival of these generous donations lucidly manifests the significance of camaraderie between the Philippines and Australia in these trying times," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.
Robinson was joined by Locsin, Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, and World Health Organization (WHO) representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe in witnessing the concentrators' arrival.
“This donation complements our extensive Covid-19 support to the Philippines under our Partnerships for Recovery. Our ongoing cooperation underscores the strong partnership that Australia and the Philippines have shared over the last 75 years,” Robinson said. (PNA)